Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes

Arthur Williams - the self-proclaimed mayor of Gatcombe - was always a colourful character.

Arthur Williams was the self-proclaimed Mayor of Gatcombe.

According to Arthur his family originally hailed from Wales but were "drummed out of the area," for horse stealing. His father and Grandfather were both stone masons living in Gatcombe. Arthur’s father was said to have supervised the installation of a fireplace at Farringford House for the poet Lord Tennyson.

Survived the Battle of Ypres
Arthur was sent to France during the First World War and took part in the Battle of Ypres.

Wounded he returned home to convalesce, one of the few survivors of the battle.

Sent to Palestine
Once recovered he was sent to fight in Palestine. His experiences prompted him to write the book 'Memories from Golden Hill to Jerusalem'.

Arthur returned home on a hospital ship in 1918 suffering from malaria.

Always a colourful character
In 1952 he was presented with his own spoof mayoral chain by the Mayor of Ryde.

Arthur was a colourful character, appearing on the radio show 'Have a Go' chaired by Wilfred Pickles.

He attended the launch of the 'MV Gatcombe'; under strict orders to keep quiet by Sir Vere Hobart, but stood up after the speeches and told the room tales of his beautiful village.

Remarkable People. Remarkable Stories. Remarkable Island.

Find out more
You can find out more about Arthur Williams at the Museum of Island History exhibition on until 30th June 2018.

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Find out more
You can find out more about Arthur Williams at the Museum of Island History exhibition on until 30th June 2018.

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© Museum of Island History


© Museum of Island History

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